Date: December 3rd, 2019 12:10 PM
Author: Roger BULLman
15 hours ago
[NAW] **Trigger Warning** I was violently gang-raped and now have PTSD.
I just really need to get this out. I’ve never really sat down and written everything I can remember down and I’ve certainly never told anyone all of it. For reference, I am 23, female, and live in the USA. this all happened in 2015.
Before I jump into this:
I have a therapist and a stable living situation. I’m working at a job and slowly working towards getting a medical degree. My life is much better now than it was. I still have nightmares and flashbacks. I still dissociate regularly. By no means am I in hell anymore. But I still struggle.
TLDR; I was ambushed while homeless in a parking lot near my hometown university by a group of men. They raped me and tortured me. The police accused me of prostitution. I fled across the country twice. I’ve had mental health issues and have struggled with my self image ever since.
What I do remember clearly:
I was out looking for work and stayed out until just as the sun was setting passing out resumes. I passed a group of men who were drinking while walking back to my car to go drive and camp out. They whistled at me but I ignored them and kept walking. The parking lot was relatively empty and was on a back street. I heard footsteps behind me and turned but before I could do anything they yanked me to the ground. I hit my head on the asphalt.
What I don’t remember clearly:
I don’t know how many of them there were. I don’t remember my clothes being taken off. I remember the smell of cigarette smoke. The pain when a cigarette was put out on my neck, then another but at different times. The smell of beer on breath from above me. The smell of my blood. I remember being kicked in my tummy. The way their hands felt on my throat. Their masculine smells. My vision was blacked out. I felt like I was both dreaming and not really there. Like it wasn’t real. The order is confused.... I don’t know what was real. Or what happened when. Or how long it lasted. It makes me feel crazy.
I feel so broken not knowing. Like something is wrong with me. It hurts a lot. But I have the scars on my neck. And down... There. So I know it happened. And it makes me want to scream but I can’t because I go into a numb dreamlike state before I can. Like I’m trapped in this unending nightmare of dread, forever oscillating between being scared and being numb.
I get sick thinking about it but then I feel like I’m dreaming again and that sick disgusting feeling in my tummy goes away and I just feel numb inside.
With therapy and introspection I’ve learned this blacking out and dreamlike sensation is dissociation. I dissociate a lot. More than I am willing to admit to myself. Probably five times a day or more.
Every time I’m around a man it makes me scared and nervous. I panic and then dissociate. I don’t even know how I’ve managed to hold down a job as long as I have.
After it happened, I remember being in my car and my clothing was torn, but not how I got there. I don’t remember how long I sat there just holding the steering wheel. I drove to the police station. Tried to talk to them. But I guess I was confused or they were. They accused me of prostitution and I got scared and left before I could report it.
I didn’t go to the hospital.
I just sat in my car for hours. Not crying. Not feeling anything. Just empty.
I woke up and drove around a bit the next day just to think. I decided to just go back to my life. Went to school. Couldn’t do any of my assignments. Just sat there. Doing nothing. I couldn’t think. I stopped talking to my friends. It was three weeks from graduation. I just blew them off. Took my exams as I needed to. Didn’t do very well, but passed. Didn’t walk at graduation. Went to the office, got my diploma and left.
I drove around a bit. Saw one them at the store when getting food. Froze up. Ran.
I drove 2600 miles the next day. 26 hours straight. To get as far away as possible. I roamed. Couch surfed. Anywhere someone was nice enough to take me in. I wound up with a psychopathic abusive boyfriend. He shipped off with the army. I got away. Had a mental breakdown and wound up committed for a 72 hour hold. Drove back to my hometown. And just existed for a bit.
That was my life for two years. Much of it a blur.
I met a woman who took me in. Loved me. She nurtured me to where I am now. Gave me a home. A safe place. Helped me get a therapist. I was diagnosed with severe and chronic PTSD as well as rape trauma syndrome. Depression and panic disorder as facets of it. I struggle with my self image. I feel disgusting all the time.
But I’m doing okay.
I still have nightmares, flashbacks, and dissociative episodes. But I’m doing okay.
I survived. I guess.
I’m okay. It gets better.
Please get better